A crucial role for places of worship in the Prevent agenda

It’s not enough just to do the bare minimum, argues Sam Parrett, (OBE and CEO of London South East Colleges), who believes colleges have a true duty of care: Ms Parrett writing in the FE Week Journal on 3rd October 2017. 

Linking with your local college, as an active place of worship, may be a really useful and practical step that your church can take. This can help in supporting the students and the wider local community to have a greater understanding of faith groups and religion. 

Sam Parrett talks about how the colleges in her area work together to develop a cohesive and flexible plan of working with and engaging in the community. She writes: 

"Our student experience team holds debates throughout the year in which students have the opportunity to voice their opinions, thoughts and concerns on various issues, ranging from ‘Are you a global citizen?’ to human rights.

We also arrange visits to various places of worship for a number of faiths, and students have the opportunity to come back to college and discuss their experiences and any thoughts arising from the visits.

By widely and regularly promoting the right kinds of values, our aim is to minimise the wrong ones. Rather than focusing on explicit messages relating to radicalisation, we are working hard to promote a positive and supportive environment. We are ambitious about this spiritual and social aspect of college life and we have recently become a UNICEF rights-respecting organisation, which is also underpinning our approach."

To read the full article in the online FE Week Journal - see HERE.

To find out more about how to make this happen, please contact Sara Iles at the Free Churches Group: sara.iles@freechurches.org.uk 

(Photo by Sara Iles)